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Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Dog Bite / What Is Strict Liability in a Maryland Dog Bite Lawsuit?

What Is Strict Liability in a Maryland Dog Bite Lawsuit?


As you approach a potential dog bite lawsuit in Maryland, you may encounter the phrase “strict liability.” This may be just one confusing legal term among many others amidst the complexity of a personal injury claim. Strict liability may be particularly important in this situation – and it makes sense to gain a complete understanding of it. To learn more about how strict liability might affect your dog bite lawsuit, book a consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Baltimore.

Strict Liability Defined 

To understand the concept of strict liability, you must first understand the concept of liability itself. In personal injury cases, defendants face the possibility of “liability” for the harm they allegedly caused. Liability is essentially equivalent to “responsibility.” In other words, someone who is “liable” for causing an injury is also “responsible” or “accountable” for causing that injury.

However, the legal term “liability” also has a financial element. Someone who is “liable” for injuries is also responsible for the cost of those injuries. As any dog bite victim knows, the cost of a serious injury can include medical expenses and lost wages. Personal injury plaintiffs may also receive compensation for non-financial or “non-economic” losses, including emotional distress.

A defendant is “strictly liable” for injuries even if they did not intend to cause harm. If strict liability exists, there is no requirement to prove that the defendant did anything wrong. The mere fact that the accident occurred is enough to establish liability. In other words, it is relatively easy to pursue compensation for injuries under a strict liability doctrine.

Strict Liability vs Negligence

 If strict liability exists, there is no requirement to prove “negligence.” It is necessary to prove negligence in many personal injury claims, including car accidents and premises liability cases. This can be a difficult process, as you need to establish four separate “elements” of negligence if you want to pursue compensation. These include duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and injuries. In contrast, the only real requirement in strict liability cases is to show that the accident occurred – and that it caused real injuries.

How Does Strict Liability Work in Dog Bite Cases? 

In Maryland, dog owners are strictly liable for the injuries caused by their animals. There is no requirement to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong if you want to pursue compensation for your injuries. The only requirement is to show that the defendant owned the animal involved in the attack, and that the same animal caused your injuries. You do not need to prove any level of negligence. Without this standard, it may be necessary to prove that the owner failed to secure the dog with a leash – or that they trained the animal poorly.

Find an Experienced Maryland Dog Bite Lawyer 

While strict liability is an important concept as you approach a dog bite lawsuit, there are many other things to consider. To learn more about the complexities of a dog bite lawsuit in Owings Mills, book a consultation with Furman Honick Law today. We can not only educate you about how these lawsuits work, but we can also guide you toward compensation for your damages. Reach out now to get started.



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